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ERIC Number: ED542305
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 231
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2672-4426-0
Analysis of the Learning Styles of Diverse Student Populations and Implications for Higher Education Instructional Change
Novogrodsky, Dorothy
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services
Higher education is one of the last institutions of learning to embrace the challenge of learner diversity that exists everywhere today (Dunn & Griggs, 2000; Rowley, Lujan, Dolence, 1998). This investigation explored the relationships between perceived preferred instructional strategies and student learning styles of learning-style aware instructors and their students. Upon initial review, the results of this investigation revealed that the perceptions of learning-style aware instructors and their students were that teaching styles essentially were accommodating diverse learning styles to a significant extent. As a whole group, both instructors (75%) and students (83%) were satisfied. However, individual classes revealed a more telling picture. There was noticeable variation among and between the classes. Instructors (n = 54) completed an Instructional-Strategies Survey (ISS) (Novogrodsky, 2001) and a Preferred Student Learning-Style Profile (PSLSP) (Novogrodsky, 2001). These instruments were adapted from the Dunn and Dunn Teaching Style Inventory (Dunn & Dunn, 1993) and Dunn and Dunn Learning-Style Model (Dunn & Dunn 1977). They identified which strategies instructors used to deliver course content and the type of student those instructors preferred to teach. Students (n = 1519) completed an Instructional-Strategies Preference Survey (ISPS) (Novogrodsky, 2001) and the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS) (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 1996). The ISPS (2001) indicated which instructional strategies students preferred instructors to use while learning the course content. The PEPS identified the learning-style preferences of students according to the elements of the Dunn and Dunn Learning-Style Model (Dunn & Dunn, 1977). When the data were combined, the total sample revealed a significant relationship between the perceptions of the instructors and students. Both groups indicated that they were satisfied with the way instruction was accommodating learning-style diversity within a class (r(49) = 0.31. p less than 0.05). When each element was considered, comparisons revealed five significant relationships between the two groups for the learning-style elements of design F(2,44) = 4.23, p = 0.02, sociological preferences F(2,45) = 8.35, p = 0.001, authority figure present F(2,45) = 8.52, p = 0.001, learning in several ways F(2,45) = 9.73, p = 0.000, and intake F(2,45) = 5.94, p = 0.005. Only the instructors' preference for, and students' need for, structure approached a level to be significant as a learning preference. The instructional-strategies surveys considered the teaching methods used by learning-style aware instructors and desired by their students. Comparisons between the two groups revealed significance variation from instructors' instructional practices and the preferences of their students for Teaching Methods (t(40) = -2.11, p = 0.04) and Teaching Environment (t(44) = -3.54, p = 0.001). These significance tests represented small to moderate effect sizes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Productivity Environmental Preference Survey